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Protection of Personal Information Act – A Beginners Guide Part 2

Why does your organisation need to be PoPI Act compliant?

Now that you have an idea what the Protection of Personal Information Act is and what its purpose is, it is time to find out a bit more about how it is going to affect your business.

 

Why does your business need to be compliant?

The fact is, the PoPI Act is actually quite a good piece of legislation and there is no question that having more rights and protection is a good thing. For organisations that collect personal information, there are actually a number of benefits too, which you can read about shortly.

However, the PoPI Act also means organisations will have to spend time, money and personnel resources to become compliant. The larger the organisation the more work will be involved.

If you are thinking that you cannot or simply will not do this, then you need to be aware that the Protection of Personal Information Act is not some optional legislation but one that comes with a set of teeth attached to a watchdog in the form of the Information Regulator.

The Information Regulator will hear complaints and deal with breaches of the PoPI Act. The penalties for breaching the act are no mere slaps on the wrist and should not be taken lightly.

If an individual or organisation chooses not to comply or does not take adequate measures to protect a subject’s information and follow the Eight Conditions of the PoPI Act they could end up facing a fine of up to R 10 million or even jail time of up to 10 years. So, yes,  the Protection of Personal Information Act comes with a considerably sharp set of teeth.

 

Does the Protection of Personal Information Act have any benefits?

Now that you know the downside of non-compliance, let’s give you the good news about compliance.

 

Transparency, a catalyst for Trust

The PoPI Act is a real boon for customers in that it affords them rights and protection, but in doing so it also affords you the opportunity to earn the trust of your customers by keeping them informed about how you use and process their information.

 

Quality of Information

No matter whether you are an individual, small business or large corporate, the processes you will need to follow in collecting and processing personal information also offer opportunities to improve the quality of the information collected.

 

Streamline your Business Processes

In implementing new processes or updated old ones to fully comply with the PoPI Act, you also have the opportunity to improve the way you process and use data. This can lead to smarter, faster, and more secure ways of using information which, can lead to a better run business.

 

So, the Protection of Personal Information Act is by no means doom and gloom for organisations. Thus, while on one hand, you may have a watchdog with teeth, you can look at the Act as playing the role of a best friend too.

 

To continue with the next part of our article click this link:

“Protection of Personal Information Act – A Beginners Guide Part 3 – How do you go about becoming PoPI Act compliant?”

If you have not read Part 1 then click this link:

Protection of Personal Information Act – A Beginners Guide – Part 1 – What is the Protection of Information Act or PoPI Act?